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Sports News of Sunday, 26 April 2020


Arsenal signing £43m Thomas Partey in summer transfer window depends on key condition

Partey has thrived for Diego Simeone's Atletico this season Partey has thrived for Diego Simeone's Atletico this season

Arsenal's chances of signing Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey are largely dependent on the Gunners qualifying for next season's Champions League.

The Ghanian is a target for Mikel Arteta as the Arsenal manager looks for a dominating box-to-box midfielder to build around in the middle.

Partey has thrived for Diego Simeone's Atletico this season and has taken on added importance since Rodri joined Manchester City last summer.

The 26-year-old particularly impressed in the La Liga outfit's Champions League last-16 defeat of Liverpool before football's coronavirus-enforced break.

And Partey's father Jacob teased talks between the player and the Gunners this week.

"I called my son after hearing the rumours and he told me that the rumours are true," Jacob Partey told Tru FM’s ‘Sports World Show’.

"He told me they are holding talks between him and Arsenal. It all depends on the offer Atletico are demanding.

"If he goes to Arsenal fine, they have a lot of supporters in Ghana.

"I will be happy if he decides to move to Arsenal. What they are discussing now is how Atletico will release him."

Yet claim that given the Premier League giants will have to pay around £43.5million (€50m) to land the midfielder, they need the money from Champions League qualification to sign him.

The coronavirus crisis is expected to take a hit on the north London club's finances.

Arsenal have already struggled to splash the cash as freely as they'd like to in recent windows - with the club-record signing of Nicolas Pepe only completed with Lille accepting his £72m fee in instalments across five years.

That's with their lack of Champions League football in recent years having affected their revenues.

And unless they secure a return to Europe's premier competition, Arsenal are unlikely to be able to make such a financial commitment, it is claimed.

And disappointingly for Arsenal fans, JJSports - Thomas' representatives - quickly sought to shut down his father's claims.

"It's totally untrue," they said of apparent negotiations with Arsenal.

Arteta, discussing his plans for the summer transfer window, said to Sky Sports earlier this month: ""I'm planning two or three different scenarios that we can face.

"Depending on one of those three, we will be able to do more, less or nothing.

"We have to react daily. We don't know what the financial situation is going to be, we don't know the rules, the timing, the window.

"There are so many things we cannot control at the moment."